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24 Things You May Not Know About The Moomins

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1. A quick reminder: The Moomins are a fairytale family of Finnish "trolls" who have adventures with their friends and neighbours in Moomin Valley.

The main characters include Moomintroll, his parents, Moominmamma and Moominpappa, Snufkin, Little My, and the terrifying Groke.

2. The now internationally beloved Moomins first appeared in a series of comic strips and novels by Finnish writer, artist, and illustrator Tove Jansson. / Wikicommons

These stories later inspired international TV shows, films, and a staggering range of merchandise that sells well even today. A Moomin shop even opened in London's Covent Garden in 2011.


7. Jansson started producing Moomin novels alongside her comic strips. She wrote the first Moomin novel, Moomin and the Great Flood, at the end of the Second World War.

The book deals with a family separation and a home under threat. Both Jansson's brothers enlisted to fight in the war.


11. The adventurous Moominpappa, with his top hat and seafaring nature, was based on Jansson's storm-chasing father. / Oy Moomin Characters Ltd.

Viktor Jansson was a sculptor who loved storms and fires. Whenever there was a fire in Helsinki, he would scoop up the children to go and watch it unfold.


13. And the characters Thingumy and Bob were based on an another, ill-fated, same-sex love affair. / Oy Moomin Characters Ltd.

Introduced in Finn Family Moomintroll, the inseparable Thingumy and Bob constantly hold hands, speak in a secret language, carry a mysterious suitcase, and are always being chased by the fearsome Groke.

In real life, Jansson enjoyed a brief but intense love affair with Vivica Bandler, a married theatre director, at a time when same-sex relationships were illegal in Finland.

14. The character of Toft, who appears in Moomin Valley in November, was based on Tove Jansson herself.

Jansson wrote this final, slightly melancholy Moomin book in 1970, after the death of her mother. In the book, Toft visits the Moominhouse only to find that no one is home. And no one comes home.


18. A theme park called Moomin World opened in Finland in 1993.

Its attractions include the big blue Moomin House, the Hemulen's house, Snufkin's camp, and Moominpappa's boat. A second Moomin World is due to open in Japan in 2015.


22. The first Moomin TV series was the famous "fuzzy-felt" Moomins, which aired in the UK with this spooky but charming theme tune in the 1970s.

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24. Although the Moomins started life in the 1940s, they're still going strong today. The movie Moomins on the Riviera was released in 2014.

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